Posts Tagged ‘Boardwalk Empire’

For new garment construction, we pore over 1920s images to come up with a design that makes sense for the character and is also doable in the short amount of time we have. We use vintage beaded dress pieces, trims, and fabric remnants that we try to weave into every piece to give it a more authentic look. Sometimes we design the entire costume around one small vintage element.

Lisa Padovani, Co-Costume Designer for Boardwalk Empire told to The Costume Designer.  (Boardwalk Empire was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Costumes in a Miniseries. The winner this year was Game of Thrones.)

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Image courtesy of HBO.

Today BBC Radio 4  Woman’s Hour discussed the potential influence of the HBO television show Boardwalk Empire on current fashions. Host Jenni Murray spoke with vintage shop owner Annie Moss and professor of fashion history Caroline Cox.

Boardwalk Empire is a period drama set in prohibition 1920s Atlantic City. A recent addition to the HBO lineup and a big hit with viewers, it’s still a bit early to know what, if any, influence it will have on fashion.  

Professor Cox thinks it won’t translate to modern taste. Clearly no fan of 20s fashions, Cox comments that the costumer for the show is almost too accurate to the era.  Based on the first three episodes, Cox hasn’t seen anything that would appeal to women today, only “… really horrible wool suits for women, weird  knit wear and slightly amusing hats.”

But for men it’s a different story. Both Cox and Moss agree that there is plenty of style to be found on the male characters, from the tweedy working-man look to the french cuff wealthy-man look.  (Either way it’s a step-up from the way men dress today, so let’s hope it rubs off.)  Moss further comments that women also may emulate the men’s fashions, which would include more tailored silhouettes in slacks, suits, and hats.

I haven’t seen the show myself, but I do hope, if nothing else, it inspires both men and women to ditch the daily jeans and try something old. Back in the day, even poor people made an effort to look nice and appropriate. You didn’t see shorts in church and jeans at the office.

That’s my two cents and why they call me “Over Dressed for Life.”

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